Netflix Drops Akamai, Selects Level 3 For Streaming Provider

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News Posted: Thu, Nov 11 2010 8:04 PM
It looks like it's all over between Netflix and Akamai. Like a bad breakup between a cute couple, it's just hard to watch fall apart. But there's nothing like a rebound, right? And that's what's happening. Akamai is a major streaming service that assists tons of companies with media distribution. But evidently the service isn't up to snuff for Netflix, and as the company shifts towards becoming a more serious streaming contender, that service is becoming more and more important.

Level 3 Communications is taking over for the rejected company, now selected to serve as a primary content delivery network (CDN) provider for Netflix. As a result of the deal, Level 3 has accelerated plans to further invest in its CDN capacity. Level 3 will double its storage capacity and add 2.9 Terabits per second (Tbps) of globally available CDN capacity, which is in addition to the 1.65 Tbps that was deployed in the third quarter of 2010.


That's pretty huge. And it's proof that Netflix is exploding in importance, and that the demand for their streaming service is skyrocketing. Netflix expects that their subscriber base will exceed 19 million in North America by the end of this year and that they expect more growth and international expansion in future years. In addition to supporting Netflix for streaming movies and TV shows, Level 3 will store the entire Netflix streaming library of more than 20,000 titles. Over the course of November and December, the two companies will move the library to storage with Level 3 in preparation for serving traffic beginning Jan. 1, 2011. We're definitely glad that we aren't in charge of overseeing that -- talk about a storage junkie's worst nightmare.

As for consumers, expect your service to either increase or stay about satisfactory once the transition is complete. And hopefully, your monthly price will stay the same regardless.

 Netflix Signs Multi-Year Deal with Level 3 for Streaming Services

Level 3 Selected Based on Scalability, User Experience and Geographic Reach

BROOMFIELD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: LVLT) today announced that it has been selected to serve as a primary content delivery network (CDN) provider for Netflix, Inc. to support the company’s streaming functionality and to support storage for the entire Netflix library of content.

    “One of the primary advantages of owning our network is the agility it affords – we’re able to scale, augment and, ultimately, better control the performance of our CDN”

As a result of the deal, Level 3 has accelerated plans to further invest in its CDN capacity. Level 3 will double its storage capacity and add 2.9 Terabits per second (Tbps) of globally available CDN capacity, which is in addition to the 1.65 Tbps that was deployed in the third quarter of 2010.

The CDN augment will provide the headroom needed to meet demand requirements from Netflix now and to accommodate future growth. Netflix says its subscriber base will exceed 19 million in North America by the end of this year and that they expect more growth and international expansion in future years.

“Level 3’s track record for delivery and network scalability were critical factors in our decision to work with Level 3 on a long-term basis,” said Andrew Rendich, chief service and DVD operations officer with Netflix. “We’ve been impressed with their speed and consistency, and we feel confident in their ability to quickly scale to meet demand as more and more Netflix members watch instantly.”

In addition to supporting Netflix for streaming movies and TV shows, Level 3 will store the entire Netflix streaming library of more than 20,000 titles. Over the course of November and December, the two companies will move the library to storage with Level 3 in preparation for serving traffic beginning Jan. 1, 2011.

“One of the primary advantages of owning our network is the agility it affords – we’re able to scale, augment and, ultimately, better control the performance of our CDN,” said Mark Taylor, vice president of Content and Media. “We’re committed to ensuring that our performance consistently exceeds our customers’ expectations, and we look forward to working with Netflix to serve their millions of streaming customers for years to come.”

Level 3's network is designed to help customers control quality from Creation to Consumption. The company’s CDN combines the advantages of an industry-leading Internet backbone with a sophisticated, proven content delivery platform. This combination connects customers to high-performance, highly scalable services and simplifies delivery. And with one of the world’s largest IP networks, Level 3 is focused on providing an optimal path to connect content to end users.

For more information on Level 3’s CDN services, please visit www.Level3Delivers.com. 
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realneil replied on Fri, Nov 12 2010 9:50 PM

I like it the way it is and hope that they don't end up 'fixing' something that isn't broke.

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

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